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Stereoboard Talk To Papa Roach's Tobin Esperance Ahead Of Their Recent London Show (Interview)

Friday, 21 December 2012 Written by Heather McDaid
Stereoboard Talk To Papa Roach's Tobin Esperance Ahead Of Their Recent London Show (Interview)

Some albums mark a transition, a new chapter for a band. Papa Roach have always been honest with their lyrics, and open with their musical style - and there is no finer example of this than their new record 'The Connection'. Ending their year with a European run with Stone Sour, we chatted to Tobin prior to their first show in London.

Image"I would much rather headline, but [being friends] really makes for a better vibe," admits Tobin. "Really, though, that doesnít matter, because we could tour with anyone - we get along with everyone! Itís just the kind of band we are. Sometimes you get these young punks who just donít know shit about fucking being on the road and itís like their first tour so they try a little too hard to be rock stars. Youíre just like, ďShit, I remember when I was your age!Ē

And when he was their age? "Oh we were out of our minds!" he laughs. "We pretty much did the whole sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll thing and the clichť was definitely not lost. It was about indulging and having fun. We played amazing shows. We played Brixton and had amazing shows and it was a big party and a lot of it was a blur. I think if I was a little bit more older and wiser and mature and I looked back on it, I maybe would have changed just a couple of things..."

This is the band's first UK performances following the release of their latest album, the recording of which took place in the band's own studio in Sacramento. "It was amazing - I mean it was a dream come true!" he smiles. "We always wanted to get to the point where we could make our own records and do it in our own studio. We had purchased this rad building that used to be a studio before we occupied it and we completely gutted it and remodelled the inside.

"Then, we finally saved up the money, got the gear and then we got to live there. We built these sleeping quarters so we could sleep and live there and make records 24/7 and hang out. We went back to our home town, hanging out with our old friends from the scene that we were a part of in 90s and it was great to be close to family and friends. We were having a good time and getting to experiment, having fun and not having to worry about clocking in and out. We could just have fun and take time and have some drinks have some laughs, make some music. It was really fun. It was pretty ideal you know. I think next time is going to be even better because weíre so use to it now."

Notably, this is Papa Roach's most experimental music - the electronics were particularly pioneered by Tobin and his love of the style. "Iím a child of the 80s so Iíve always loved it," he explains. "Of course, when I was in high school, my favourite bands were Nine Inch Nails and bands like Prodigy. I fucking love those bands. That and I fucking love trip hop and mellow and electronic music. I love aggressive music, the newer harder bass sounds of electro, whether its dubstep or drum and bass. I fucking love that stuff. I think I went through a phase where I wasnít creating ideas with a guitar or a piano like I usually do - I was just using my laptop to kind of dive into all these new advancements in technology and electronics.

"People frown upon it sometimes but itís so stupid. You manipulate it and youíre learning it and youíre crafting it; I think of it as another way to produce sound and add a great dimension and some sound quality to a record. Iím not 100% sure itís not going to be like that on the next record - thatís just where we were at, and weíll see where it takes us with the next two years when we make another record."

"I mean I respect it," he continues, talking of the abundance of bands experimenting with electronics nowadays. "If people put themselves out there and really go for it and experiment and theyíre passionate about what it is that theyíre doing - thatís all that matters. People can hate on Korn for making like a very dubstep record or whatever but you know itís really up to them to do. They can be creative however they feel like being fucking creative and I think itís cool - someoneís got to do it and take chances.

"I remember when we first came out and we got a lot of shit for being a rap-rock band and we canít help it. Thatís the kind of music we love. We grew up listening to hip hop and grew up listening to funk music soul and itís like, I donít give a shit. I always thought the lines should be blurred and now they are blurred itís kind of normal. I canít even imagine how it was back then when Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More and when Run DMC got together with Aerosmith - that shit was cool. I think music should continue with that 'cause thatís the kind of music I like. I mean - donít get me wrong - I fucking love AC/DC but I have fucking heard every song and they all sound pretty much the same you know?"

And, as this year draws to a close, what does 2013 hold for Papa Roach? "Weíre going to keep touring. Weíre coming back next year and do all the festivals in Europe. June in the UK and all of July and August. Weíre going to keep coming back - we want to be able to tour the UK more. We really want to come to Scotland because we love Scotland we had the most amazing show there last time we were there - it was insane.

"Weíre just going to go round the world. Thatís just what we do."

Papa Roach released ĎThe Connectioní on 1st October 2012 on Eleven Seven Music.

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